Friday, March 27, 2009

Whipped cream on top

This morning Tyler and I met at LCC to take advantage of the goodness delivered by the biggest storm of the year. Original plan was to access Days Fork via Alta, but when we got there, Red (Alta’s coke bottle glasses-wearing night security guard and all-around good guy) turned us around because they were going to be dropping bombs on the ridge via helicopter (who knew?).

But not without first having a conversation about the other guys in the lot who questioned Red’s authority to actually turn them around. “I’ll have your car towed while your gone” sounds like authority enough to me.

So we headed down to White Pine for some Scotties action. We saw Bob, whom we skied with Tuesday, up at Alta, and his crew hadn’t shown up. He came to Scotties with us.

Intermittently throughout the climb I texted Dug trying to decide where he and Senior (John, Sr., his father-in-law) would be going and whether I’d try to meet up with them. I also called the avy report and found out that the snow had settled nicely, and we essentially had a green light to ski where we wanted.

And so we did. Tyler dropping in:

Bob right behind:

Arguing over who gets to drop the next section first. Bob won. He told us at the bottom today was the first time in his life he’d made first tracks on a mountain. He picked a good day.

He then took pictures as I skied down:

Followed by Tyler:

It’s as fun to watch Tyler and Bob ski as it is to actually ski. Tyler’s a former instructor, and Bob has been teaching at Snowbird for 29 years. They’re both so smooth and technically sound that they do the snow and terrain justice.

Just before we dropped, I got a text from Dug saying he and Senior were going to ski Argenta. I was on the verge of bailing on part 2, but Argenta is a line I’ve really wanted to ski and there would be no better opportunity. So I drove down Little Cottonwood, up Big, put my sweaty boots back on, and started climbing.

A few minutes into the climb, I sent Dug a text asking where they were. “Halfway up” came the reply. Crap. I was really going to have to move. I climbed the next 2500 feet for all I was worth.

Just as I was fearing I wouldn’t catch them and preparing myself to ski back to the bottom alone, I yelled “Dug!” just to see if he would respond.

He did. In a normal speaking voice. Cuz he was like 100 feet away in the trees.

We continued on to the summit ridge* and got ready to drop in.

*Dug thinks it’s material that he went 20 feet higher on the ridge than I did. Yay Dug.

First Senior, who’s a ripping skier, at least 60, and deserves some degree of credit for the fact that any of us are out here to begin with:

Dug right behind:

Me, out in the open:



At this point, Senior tells me about the first time he went to Snowbird with Dug. And Dug had a snowboard strapped to his feet because “skiing really didn’t do anything” for him.

Dug then tells us how he didn’t really know how to ski at the time, but since then he has learned. And to prove it, he’s going to jump off of this cornice. He got like three feet of air. Then he landed. And his skis stopped. But he didn’t. Until two cartwheels later.

It was the funniest thing I have ever seen happen on skis. Here I am, doubled over with laughter. Dug took this photo from where he stopped.

Dug’s skis, one more time, because it was that funny:

The best part, though, was that on nearly any other line, with as much as we had skied when Dug dropped the cornice, we’d have been about through for the day. But on Argenta, we still had another 1,000 vertical of whipped cream to draw lines in before we got back to the car.


  1. the view was like 10 times better from 20 feet higher on the ridge. i swear.

    3 feet of air. humph. i got 3 feet of air on my second somersault.

  2. Based on the features in the photo, that cornice must be more than 3 feet high, unless those skis are freakishly large, oh wait.

  3. Looks like I missed out. Kids were sick all night and at the time I thought I needed sleepy. After reading this, the sleep wasn't worth it.

  4. I chose to stay snug in bed. I chose poorly. But Saturday Aaron and I made up for our derelict actions with some creamy goodness at Aspen Grove.

    I would give up a month of sleep to have seen dug cartwheel down the mountain.

  5. kris, yeah, more than 3 feet. cuz it was taller than mark is, and he's at LEAST 3 feet.

  6. OK, I'll acquiesce. The cornice drop was at least as high as Dug is tall. But the landing was as funny as Napoleon racking himself on the stem of the sledgehammer. And anytime something like that happens "three feet of air" is accurate. Whether it is or not.